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International medical graduate (IMG) physicians represent over 25% of the physician workforce and are a critical part of organized medicine. The IMG Section presents this toolkit to help IMG physicians navigate through the process of practicing medicine in the U.S.

The AMA continues to advocate for IMG physicians, whether currently licensed to practice in the U.S. or seeking licensure and helps to ensure that visa-related issues do not stop their ability to care for patients.

  1. Practicing medicine in the U.S.

    A high-level overview of topics ranging from professionalism in the practice of medicine to starting education over in a new country to the pros and cons of practicing medicine in the U.S.

  2. Types of visas & FAQs

    In the 2020 academic year, 4,222 IMG physicians from over 100 countries were offered visas to facilitate residency training in different specialties. Different visas have different requirements.

  3. Academic opportunities & scope of practice

    IMG physicians face several barriers in their goals and aspirations towards a career in academic medicine.

  4. Finding a residency

    The steps needed to obtain a residency program in the U.S.

  5. Mentorship

    Definitions, types of mentorship programs, the basics of beginning and maintaining a mentor-mentee relationships and more.

  6. State medical licensure

    There are many nuances and other issues which will determine the attainability of an unlimited license to practice medicine in U.S.

  7. Financial planning

    Physicians have an opportunity to work with vetted financial professionals who offer interactive, web-based financial planning services.

IMGS toolkit contributors

The toolkit was developed with the assistance of the IMG Section staff and the IMGS Governing Council members.


Learn more about the AMA member group International Medical Graduates Section and get involved in policy decision-making for issues affecting IMG physicians.

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